tv [untitled] October 6, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT
cell phones or pagers. would you please stand for the pledge of allegiance. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> thank you. we will now take a roll call of commissioners. the commission president? >> present. commissioner dejesus? >> she was excused this evening. >> commissioner carol kingsley? >> present. >> commission president, you have a quorum.
president mazzucco: thank you very much, lieutenant, and ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the october 5, 2011, san francisco police commission hearing. i see a lot of folks in the audience tonight. there is an item that is not on the calendar. given the size of the audience, we will limit public comment to two minutes. without further ado, please call line item 1. >> item 1 is general public comment. the public is welcome to address the commission on items that do not appear on tonight's agenda but are under the jurisdiction of tonight's commission. speakers shall address their remarks to the commission as a whole and not individual personnel. under rules of order, during public comment, neither the police or the occ personnel nor commissioners are required to respond to questions presented by the public, but may provide a
brief response. individual commissioners and police and occ personnel should refrain from entering into any debates or discussion with speakers during public comment. please limit your comments tonight to two minutes. president mazzucco: ladies and gentlemen, i see a lot of folks in the audience for a matter that is not on the calendar. however, it is regarding an issue that is found to be important. we welcome you encourage you to do that. if the item that i think you are here for that we were going to discuss if there were any new answers regarding jttf anbar procedures -- and our procedures for that. there are no answers. we met with the attorneys yesterday, and we are continuing to look into certain aspects of this, but as it stands today, the matter is not on the agenda. we ask you to come forward.
we want to hear your feelings and thoughts regarding our participation in jttf. briefly, i will turn this over to commissioner slaughter, who has been doing the heavy lifting on this. san franciscommissioner slaughtk you, commissioner mazzucco. i know there was a representative of the mayor's office who is here and i think will come back and give the mayor's office opinion on the matter, but beyond that, please feel free to speak. president mazzucco: one, our officers will not violate anyone's constitutional rights. second, our officers will not be involved in racial profiling. that should be made clear before
going in there. third, we are not the fbi. for, we're not the department of justice. we are the san francisco police commission, dealing with the san francisco police department, and we give our guarantee our officers will not dissipate in anything you feel comfortable with. we will not stand for that. if we could start with representatives from the mayor's office, mr. henderson? commissioner slaughter: i am sorry, one of the thing i wanted to mention, we had a frank and open discussion yesterday with the aclu and asian law caucus, which is an important conversation. i think the lines of communication are open and continue to be and are constructive, and we agree on big picture items and on the values, the important values
that are represented in the san francisco police practices. we are committed to making sure that all of our officers at all times are following all of our bureau orders. i know that mr. henderson from the mayor's office has a commitment letter in the evening, so we asked him to speak first, and everyone else please line up and feel free to speak. >> i think i have the time limit of two minutes? a little visual reminder not to babble to long. paul henderson, the deputy chief of staff for the mayor, also the director for public safety issues, and i already have met with everyone in this room. i see many people in the audience, who i saw at the last hearing, but this came to the mayor's office's attention a long time ago.
i met with a lot of advocates and committee members, the police department, i met with representatives from the federal government as well, and from the last hearing, but the mayor's office, it specifically, feels comfortable with the order we are addressing the concerns of both the community in terms of public safety and in terms of racial justice as well on this sensitive issue, obviously, but we are committed to maintaining our course. >> could you get off the door handle, please? >> we are committed to maintaining -- our concerns are we continue to
receive the information with the federal government, which is why are we year are supporting the decision. which is why we are supporting the decision, as inclusive of the amendment with the general order we have. i wanted to comment and make an appearance today to make it clear that we support what the commissioners have done thus far and the decisions that have been made in relationship to this topic. thank you all for your hard work, and also your input. i look at this as a win for the community and the advocates to have been able to help craft a solution and helped craft the general order to address their concerns. thank you all so much. i am around if anyone needs me. president mazzucco: we also have the president of the human rights commission, and the
executive director. >> thank you, commissioners. it is always a pleasure to spend wednesday nights here, at least one. it is a pleasure to be here. i wanted to express our appreciation to the committee and the advocates for the amount of work they have been putting in on this. i was at a meeting yesterday in which many of the same people were at that meeting, and they continue to work on this to come to the best resolution for the community from the nondiscrimination perspective and public safety perspective. i want to thank the commission for your work because of continued work on this, and particularly the chief. we have spoke with him a few times and he continues to be receptive to new ideas and evolved in his thinking about this and continues to move towards a settlement and agreement that we can all share. i think so far we have come a
long ways. if you recall the first meeting we had and the first public hearing we had over a year ago, which generated a report, and we had a second public hearing and now we're having hearings periodically with many of the same people. the dialogue is different, the tenor of the meeting is different, and we've come a long way from where we started. i want to thank the department for everything you have done. i want to thank the chief for everything you have done. i think the special agent in charge definitely douglas's letter of the last 10 days -- stephanie douglas's letter of the last 10 days and knowledge she will not require any officers retire. assigned to jttf is a big step forward. we all agree at some point in the future every negotiated m.o.u. would be the vest final result -- the best final result.
we will continue to move on this item and continue to work with the wall and that the committee to try to come to resolution. thank you so much, commissioners. president mazzucco: thank you. next speaker? >> i am a legal fellow at the asian law caucus. the purpose of the police commission is to provide civilian oversight over sfpd activities. this commission has been on notice about their involvement with the fbi. we have held hearings, focused political comment, and spoken with many of you one-on-one. with explain the problem and proposed viable solutions. yet, two weeks ago today, some of you were still not clear what the problem is. on behalf of the asian law caucus, i am here to answer that question out and clear. sfpd's participation with the fbi under the memorandum of understanding is not acceptable. that's all of the power in the hands of the fbi.
that ensures that sfpd officers follow their rules rather than san francisco's. verbal assurances to trust nothing bad is happening is not enough. that is not how democracy works. we demand real oversight and accountability, and right now, the fbi is blocking your oversight and accountability. the arab, middle eastern, and south asian committees have all lost faith in the fbi. agents have visited our homes, infiltrated our organizations, the minute interviews while we are at work, and as intrusive questions about our families and identities. this is a deeply held culture of bigotry and racism, reflected in fbi training materials which refer to the prophet mohammed as a cult leader and that civilians as militants. it is highly likely that officers assigned to the jttf received fbi training, which
talks about islamic domination of the world. if you're officers have received such training from another agency that stated that african- americans have a tendency toward violence or more likely to be sex offenders, would this be acceptable? absolutely not. would you act on it immediately? of course you would. the why is this type of racism acceptable when it is aimed at our communities? thank you very much. president mazzucco: thank you. next speaker? >> thank you. i am a professor of psychiatry and global health at ucsf, and i am also the former president and board member of the arab american cultural center. i represent a large segment of our community. i have met with the chief on a few occasions, and i'm very disturbed about where we are right now.
i am asking the commission takes seriously the idea of suspending the m.o.u. the chief and commission had said on numerous occasions that want to build a relationship with us, and gender trust. i can guarantee you the relationship you have based on the jttf does not engender trust. if we are here to build relationships with our community, we're taking major steps backwards. i am asking you to reconsider that. we're happy to build relationships based on trust and transparency and not stepping back. when are we going to learn? the history with other governments of israel and south africa, where the police department was able to share information on san francisco citizens? these were egregious violations of commission oversight. why are we here again and discussing these issues right now what we're supposed to be taking steps forward with our community? i am urging you in the strongest
possible language to build relationships with us based on trust and transparency, and i hope the chief will honor his word when he said he was willing to do that. thank you very much. president mazzucco: thank you, doctor. next speaker? >> i am with the islamic society of san francisco, and i want to start by asking several questions to the chief of police and the hon. members of the oversight committee. any of the hon. civilian oversight committee members, muslims or arabs, it is impossible to go to a courthouse or court room in the state and find want arab-american judge or muslim american judge. thus, it is consistent there is no islamic order representation here either. the you share with me that
california and america is fashioning itself after an apartheid state in the middle east, albeit selectively apartheid, that aims to keep arabs and muslims mired in stereotypes, worthy of compromising laws and state constitutions to achieve all of that? how american is that? how american is the introduction of apartheid to america, albeit selectively apartheid? considering your concern with public safety, how have any of you, the chief of police firstly, and hon. members, have you read it anything about the lavon affair of the 1950's? it is worthy of your consideration and examination. there is heavy presence in
america of elements pro- oppression of arab-americans and muslims, and intruded into the lives of innocent arab muslims is their agenda aand they seek that under the most ugly conspiracy. why is there not an m.o.u. with the fbi that keeps us all safe from false flag attacks? thank you. president mazzucco: thank you very much, sir. next speaker, please? >> good evening. thank you very much for having this meeting and continue in this discussion about this issue. while it is not on the agenda today, i hope that you continue to learn more about our point of view.
i am a board member and community outreach coordinator at the downtown moscow. -- at the downtown mosque. i have been here before and i have told the commissioners here that our community center has a strong and friendly relationship with the sfpd, and we are happy you are having these discussions. but what we would like to see his words should parallel actions. i am happy that you are saying that sfpd is against racial profiling and will never happen, but we like to see that in action. there have been some cases in san francisco and other cities where racial profiling has occurred. we will like to overcome that. if we are wrong, please prove us wrong and let us know how we can overcome that. we're definitely not portland.
we are san francisco. we should be better than portland. i ask you to come up with better resolution than portland, in a way to be an example for every city in the that the states and how to overcome this. if you want to hunt down a terrorist, go after them, but please make sure that we do not interrogate, she million, and denigrate law-abiding americans -- interrogate, denigrate, and humiliate law-abiding americans. thank you. president mazzucco: thank you. next speaker, please? >> good evening. my name is rachel roberts, and i am the civil rights coordinator for the council on islamic american relations. i'm here to join these other organizations asking you to exercise the 60-day out clause and coming up with a local
resolution for counter- terrorism. our office has heard complaints over the past year alone from more than three dozen muslim americans that and contacted by the fbi and jttf. in none of these cases have charges been filed. our clients have been asked about the religious police, how often they pray, how often they go to mosque, where they go to mosque, their favorite islamic scholars, their political views, and other aspects of their protected first amendment activity. many of the committee members have also expressed their fears in contacting law enforcement as a result of these invasive questions, and this is the issue that concerns us most. people all are around the country and all around our jurisdiction and our area have expressed to us their fears about expressing their political beliefs, standing up for what
they believe then. they have even expressed fears about being a identifiably muslim in public. this is no way for people to live. we want a strong relationship between local law enforcement and the community. we want our local police departments work for the people they serve and not for any federal agency. this is crucial to having proper law enforcement in the united states. thank you for hearing me. president mazzucco: thank you. next speaker, please? >> i will be translating for him. will we be allocated more than two minutes? president mazzucco: you'll have more time, don't worry about it. >> peace be unto you. i like to thank you all for having this meeting tonight.
my first point is that of civil liberties and civil rights. they are protected from different people and enforced by law. the attack of civil rights and civil liberties is a grave injustice. and all international treaties and constitutions have suggested and stated this, that civil rights and civil liberties are a person's rights. and it is the right of
every individual that he may be treated as a dignified human being. we understand the importance of this as arab immigrants from overseas. we know how important they are. back in our country, we face grave injustices and oppression in terms of our civil rights and civil liberties. and we see racism and injustice and inequality in all different aspects. the vast majority of us left our countries because we could not
live as dignified human beings and we could not live in those countries that way. we are here now and the united states of america, the country that has shown the world as the beacon of light and the greatest enforcer of civil rights on the planet. we would like to receive the civil rights and civil liberties. so that we could at least have a sense of a guarantee of humanity. based on my knowledge and understanding, the city of san francisco protect the civil
rights and civil liberties of immigrants. from what i understand, there is an agreement for a partnership between the fbi and local law enforcement. there are using the law all law enforcement, of police officers, as a way of gaining information from our local citizens. after taking our information, they use it for different reasons. most of them we do not understand or know of. it is for this reason that we ask and demand that this partnership, relationship, has
to stop. thank you. president mazzucco: thank you very much. thank you for coming this evening. next speaker? >> good afternoon. i am an immigration attorney. as an attorney and member of a grass-roots organization that serves a largely immigrant population, i can tell you assuredly that immigrants, especially those of middle eastern, muslim, and south asian backgrounds, have been tremendously impacted by both policies of the fbi and other federal agencies, and the collaboration between local police. these immigrants, many of whom are u.s. citizens have been systematically harassed, targeted, blackmailed, and detained by federal officials as a result of these policies, and
those officials who use nothing but their background to place them on the no-fly list, to have their paperwork indefinitely suspended due to excessive background checks for suspicion of the trail of support of terrorism based on solid grounds. these citizens have had their civil-rights repeatedly violated. it is no wonder that members of our community become apprehensive at the notion of the local police having a relationship with the fbi, but especially a relationship based on an m.o.u. that hands control of the relationship to the fbi. i would like to say this commission has a responsibility to all san franciscans to make sure they live in safety and security. stop pretending we do not have an issue with fbi harassment and meet the obligations of the members of our city.
as much as we appreciate repeated promises there will be no civil-rights violations, all we're asking for is a mechanism to make sure these promises are kept. thank you. >> hello, commissioners. i am a san francisco resident and the president of the bay area association of muslim lawyers. i'm here to ask the police commission to opt out of the m.o.u. the reason is because there is a great deal of stress on our community from fbi overreach. of the police commission does not opt out, you cannot guarantee there will not be any over reached between the fbi and our community. if anything, there is no guarantee based on that. as a board member of a legal organization, i hear daily, weekly from members of my
committee that of being racially profiled, based on their faith, affiliation, where they travel, and who their family members are, and it is causing a great deal of fear and distrust. that is marginalizing our community as being "other." when people feel that law enforcement cannot stand up for them, they become more and more separated from society. that is where the danger lies. people are already being harassed in their workplace and home, at the border. without the opt out, instead of police officers focusing on public safety, which is their role, it will become the long arm of the fbi. this is not an era of -- this it is not only an arab-american, muslim, south asian issue. that affects all americans. if you do not opt out you will continue to breed distrust.